IN THE past few years, the indie pop fraternity has been lining up to celebrate Christmas in song. Now London-based singer/songwriter Emma-Lee Moss, aka Emmy the Great, and Ash frontman Tim Wheeler have teamed up, only narrowly rejecting the band name Sleigher, to release This Is Christmas, a disposable but loveable collection of bittersweet odes and irreverent Christmas spirit.
Their band, including Ash drummer Rick McMurray, set the festive tone with a melodramatic piano rendition of Walking In The Air, which was immediately undercut by lustful audience members making office party overtures to Wheeler and Moss. Politely rebuffing the advances, the pair tore into a thoroughly perky Marshmallow World, rendered in the Ash power pop tradition, followed by a selection of their Christmas originals.
No amount of sleigh bells could enliven the ploddy Snowflakes and Sleigh Me, but 50s-style ballad Christmas Moon, the headlong Christmas Day (I Wish I Was Surfing), bubblegum indie number Zombie Christmas and acoustic paean See You Next Year all had their charms.
They supplemented this brief set with a rollicking Sleigh Ride, endearingly cheesy versions of Wham!’s Last Christmas and East 17’s Stay Another Day, with Wheeler and Moss serenading each other in off-key karaoke style, and sincere stabs at the immortal Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and Fairytale Of New York.